Monday, August 31, 2009

Who Am I?

Kid's whole school is pursuing the concept of "identity" this year, and so he has to bring three personal objects from home to school tomorrow morning:

These objects should have some special significance such as a baby blanket, their first stuffed toy, an ornament from someone special and so on. These objects should not be something that would cause distress to the children if they were broken or lost by accident.

So. . . . something special that isn't so very special that Kid would care that it went missing. . . .

So far Kid's suggestions have included:

The remaining half of an ice cream sandwich in the freezer
That one sock, you know, with the bear and the fish
The apple tree in the backyard (we could just grow a new one)
His toothbrush
A mood ring

Overall, the entire exercise has turned into a weepy appreciation of things he suddenly realizes he would mourn upon loss.

"Dear Lord, not Bunny."
"Red Hat, Blue Hat? Lor, are you crazy?"
"What will I do without my glow-in-the-dark star? I won't ever be able to sleep again ever. I won't be able to keep my eyes open at school and will fall off the swing. Waaaaaaaah!"

I can't help but notice that the suggestions offered--baby blanket, first toy, and one of those popular "ornaments from someone special"(?)--miss the mark pretty seriously, at least as far as Kid is concerned. Because let's face it, if we want to really get to the heart of his identity--not the pie-in-the-sky, say isn't that deep and interesting, what a sensitive boy you are raising fictive identity that this assignment seems to be asking for, but Kid's own understanding of his unique Self--he would be bringing his Nintendo DS, his Jedi robes, a DVD of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Count Dooku's Solar Sailor Lego kit. (At school they could then teach the dangers and mythologies of defining oneself according to material possessions.)

My real-life suggestions for things that define my boy would include:

His whoopie cushion

The lilac-bush slingshot that his grandfather made for him

His savings account book

His tiger-striped underpants

The complete adventures of Captain Underpants

His passport

The picture of him taking pictures of tourists emerging from the loo near Jasper

The comic books he creates (complete with copyright)

His sports goggles

The bronze acrylic paint tube that he uses to create gleaming armour in his art

His white cowboy hat

His fedora

His walking stick

His medal

His tie collection

The frog shorts

Now you know what's in my time-capsule. Sigh. . . it goes by so quickly, sometimes it's hard to catch my breath.


  1. The suggested list from the teacher was things SHE would find precious, thus how she would define a child's identity. This is her way of sizing up the students. No first grade boy would pick from that list. I'd keep a close eye on her. This assignment reeks of the classic "now be yourself but do exactly what I expect" kind of assignment.

    Add that marshmallow cereal bar from the farmer's market to his list. That is a tradition that is clearly important to him.

  2. This one made me laugh out loud, on train again, thanks. Then brought smile and then tears to my eyes. My oldest would have chosen his DSi for sure, my youngest, his fedora maybe. :-) Great post.